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Texas sues Google for withholding documents in antitrust lawsuit

Wants documents not subject to attorney-client privilege
Fri Jun 22 2012, 11:25

INTERNET SERVICES GIANT Google is being sued by the Texas attorney general, who alleges that the web services firm is withholding documents from the state.

The tribulation started two years ago as an antitrust lawsuit but has since expanded into an investigation that sees Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot seeking a court order to get Google to turn over documentation not subject to attorney-client privilege.

Abbott's court filing reads, "While Google has produced a significant volume of documents [it] has withheld a large volume...based on assertion of the attorney-client privilege and has claimed that certain documents that were produced are, in fact, privileged, and should be destroyed or returned to Google."

Abbott said that some of the documents are indeed protected, however he claimed many others are not and he wants to see them.

When we asked Google about the matter, a spokeman said, "We have shared hundreds of thousands of documents with the Texas attorney general, and we are happy to answer any questions that regulators have about our business."

The antitrust lawsuit was brought against Google by the state of Texas back in 2010 and claims that the company manipulated search results in the areas of shopping, travel and local businesses.

"The Attorney General's Office is investigating whether Google has used its monopoly power in general Internet search to foreclose competition from rival 'vertical search' websites," Texas said in the court filing.

In February 2011, Abbott demanded that Google turn over documents for the case, and the court order he requested this week relates to these same documents. He said that the state needs the documents in order to complete its investigation. µ


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